'No evidence' Pybus was architect of Wisden success: Skerritt


'No evidence' Pybus was architect of Wisden success: Skerritt

Saturday, September 14, 2019

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Cricket West Indies (CWI) President Ricky Skerritt has downplayed Richard Pybus's role in West Indies' shock Test series win over England in the Caribbean earlier this year.

In fact, Skerritt said there was “absolutely no evidence” that the controversial Englishman was behind the 2-1 series result, which saw the home side recapture the prestigious Wisden Trophy for the first time in a decade.

“The team beat England in two Test matches. There is no reason to believe that it was because of Pybus,” Skerritt told i95FM in a wide-ranging interview aired here Thursday night.

“There's absolutely no evidence to believe that Pybus caused that, nobody has been able to show that.”

Pybus was appointed head coach just days before the start of the series last January, a move that was embroiled in controversy, especially after it emerged he had been hand-picked by then President Dave Cameron.

The home side then crushed England in the first Test at Kensington Oval by 381 runs, behind captain Jason Holder's magnificent unbeaten maiden double hundred and Roston Chase's eight-wicket haul in the second innings.

West Indies then pulled off a 10-wicket haul in the second Test in Antigua to win the series, before going on to suffer a comprehensive 232-run defeat in the third Test in St Lucia.

Skerritt, who ousted three-term incumbent at CWI elections last March, said the series result had simply represented a “peak” for West Indies, but pointed out that overall, results had continued in a negative direction.

“We have had our peaks and troughs over the years but if you look at the success curve, it's been trending downwards,” the former St Kitts and Nevis Cabinet minister explained.

“So even when you get a little peak and then a trough, you're getting more troughs than peaks so you're continuing to go downwards. The England Test series was a peak; what we have to do is get more peaks than troughs so that the curve turns and starts to go upwards.”

Pybus was removed as head coach following Skerritt's arrival and replaced by ex-West Indies batsman Floyd Reifer, in an interim role.

CWI announced this week it was launching its recruitment process for a permanent head coach and Skerritt said the qualities being now sought had not been reflected in Pybus.

“We need a coach who's going to be able to teach young people and follow them through on the fundamentals and help them be the best they can be,” Skerritt asserted.

“Pybus was hired as a high- performance director; he had no achievements as a high-performance director. Pybus only wanted one job and that was to be coach. We want a coach who wants to be a teacher of the best young people in the Caribbean.”

The region's former director of cricket, Pybus and CWI parted ways after he was reassigned to his substantive role as a high performance director.

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